THE SAD LIFE AND DEATH OF A CENTERFOLD
Anna Nicole Smith collapsed and died
in Hollywood, Florida this afternoon. She was 39 years old and is survived by her husband, Howard K. Stern and her 5-month-old daughter, Dannielynn Hope.
Anna Nicole is one of the very few celebrities that I actually sympathized with. She was clearly in over her head with celebrity. Her life was a trainwreck and she seemed to have no coping mechanisms to deal with the disasters that struck her almost daily. With every public appearance she made, there was always a disinct possibility that there would be a monumental breakdown. Her life was a sad and pathetic thing to witness and now it is over.
Smith was a beautiful woman and very little else. She was without any outstanding talent and was famous solely because of her beauty and the freakshow that she made of her life. The problem is that beauty is a fleeting thing. Soon all that she would have been notable for would be the mess that her life had become. And while people like me gloried in that freakshow, it must have taken a terrible toll on her personally.
All of the media reports are about the death of Anna Nicole Smith, but almost no one has pointed out that she born Vickie Lynn Hogan. Maybe it's appropriate that no one has mentioned Vickie Lynn as she seems to have died years ago. Anna Nicole Smith was all that Vickie had. She wasn't famous because of any talent. She wasn't particularly interesting. She was just Anna Nicole Smith and it turned out that Anna Nicole Smith was a pretty empty thing to be.
Throughout most of the last fifteen years, Anna Nicole sought to find out where a combination of prescription drug abuse and stupidity would lead her, with predictable results. Almost all of her public appearances were little more than exercises in incoherance. It was embarrassing to see, let alone live.
Her complete inability to live a responsible, adult life took her into personal bankruptcy, rehab and made her the respondant to lawsuits in multiple jurisdictions. Even the birth of her daughter was a mess, with confused paternity and lawsuits stemming from that. Following the death of her son, she left her adopted home of the Bahamas before she could be forced out of the country.
Her claim to her late husband's estate, Marshall v. Marshall, was opportunistically exploited by a Bush administration determined to expand the power of the federal government into state probate cases. But all anyone could focus on was the comedy potential of Clarence Thomas in a room with a playmate with big, fake tits.
E! Television aired a series called The Anna Nicole Show, which seemed only to explore its star's almost limitless ignorance and shocking weight gain. But the thing that struck me about the show is that despite being slutty and stupid, Anna Nicole Smith seemed to be a kindhearted person, something notable in Hollywood for its rarity. Very few celebrities would do anything like that, because they instinctively know that they would be exposed for the contemptuous vermin that they are. Hollywood is the home of the shallow, craven and selfish. It is little wonder that Anna was so out of place there.
If Smith is remembered for anything at all, it will probably that she was a perfect expression of modern celebrity culture. There is certainly no better reflection of its empty vapidity than she was. Yes, she was famous, but no one seems to know why. She was celebrated, but utterly without any purpose greater than keeping her tits looking good. She didn't create anything other than her own own damaged persona, and was unequal to the task of controlling even that.
That's not to say that she was a bad person. I don't think that she was. From everything I know about her, the only person she was determined to hurt was herself. For at least a decade - and in the last year in particular - we watched this woman destroy herself in public. As entertaining as it could be, there was a subtext of tragedy just under the surface of everything she did.
Anna Nicole Smith died as she lived, a Hollywood footnote. It is exremely unlikely that she'll be remembered by anyone five years from now. It's a horrible thing to say about anyone on the day they die, but that doesn't make it any less true.
Anna Nicole Smith is dead at 39. Hopefully, Vickie Lynn Hogan has found some measure of peace.
Easy Listening Recommendation of the Day: An Idiot's End By: Daniel Johnston From: Songs Of Pain
Labels: Celebrity Skin